Floribunda - An Unexpected Floral Extravaganza

Posted by Jac Slaney on

We love flowers here at Utopia. When we conceived the notion of having a celebration of all things floral it filled us with delight and excitement. Curating the show was interesting, as we didn't want the usual suspects and subjects to feature. So we've taken a more curious route and invited artists who approach flowers from different perspectives.



Firstly, there's famous master architectural sculptor Geoffrey Preston MBE, who finds inspiration in the modelling of flowers and leaves in 18th century plasterwork and their representation in other decorative arts, from the flowers of chintz textiles to the painting of Sèvres and Nymphenburg porcelain. He finds it an enduring challenge to represent the ephemeral and delicate quality of flowers in a concrete, material form.

Geoffrey Preston studied sculpture at Hornsey College of Art, trained as a stonemason and carver, and was a founding director of two of the country’s most respected conservation companies. In 2000 he set up his studio in Devon, where he works with a small team creating beautiful new work commissioned by architects, designers and private clients.

Credited by Country Life Magazine with creating ‘the most inspiring plaster decoration of modern times’, in 2021 Geoffrey was awarded an MBE for services to stucco and plasterwork in Her Majesty The Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Take a look at Geoffrey Preston's work, in our online shop


Kelly Swani was originally a jewellery designer, but after being diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder, she now works with paper, from her home in Jersey.  Kelly's delicate sculptures capture the fleeting beauty found in the intricacy of nature.  She combines found and natural materials, with precision and dexterity, using wires and crepe paper, to create intriguing expressions of lasting floral forms. Many of her sculptures feature an exquisite insect, creating an enchanting focal point.

Take a look at Kelly Swani's work, in our online shop



Artist Sarah Luxford, from Brighton, draws in the air with a single, unbroken line of wire to create beautiful, elegant sculptures that resonate her passion for the natural world.  Her intricate compositions illustrate not only her dexterity, but also her insightful eye and attention to the detail of flowers.  She enjoys the challenge of selecting flowers where she can build the wire into strong three-dimensional forms. This creativity reflects her vision of the endless potential of using a single medium.  Whilst the interplay of light and shadow adds depth and dimension, breathing life into her floral sculptures.

Take a look at Sarah Luxford's work, in our online shop



Then we have Norfolk artist Sally Anne Fitter, who is an established international artist of repute. Initially, Sally ran a Textile Design Studio in London, but she now paints professionally with her passion for textiles still shining through her highly textured collaged pictures of flowers.  Sally has exhibited widely in London at: the Affordable Art Fair, the London Art Fair in Islington and the Marie Josie Gallery, Kensington. Recent solo shows include The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle.  Her acrylic collages are vibrant, joyful expressions of her love of flowers.

Take a look at Sally Anne Fitter's work, in our online shop


The Floribunda exhibition will have a vibrant, colour saturated palette with a deliberate counterpoint of monotone to create an unexpected dynamic.


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